Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kayaking, Part III

And here are some more...this is me (Ronda) entering a set of rapids...not sure if I made it through or not. I flipped a few times during our whole trip. Amazingly and surprisingly I made it through a hole 2 out of 3 times...both times I made it, I was backwards, unintentional of course, but the one time I thought I had it under control...I flipped! I wonder if I could make that into a spiritual, life lesson?

And here is ...Ben, I think, being rescued by one of our guides. These guys were GOOD! And they were so fun to watch. Once they crawled into their kayaks it was like they "became the kayak". By the way, once you are flipped like this there are several options you have in order to be saved. There is a self-rescue where you pull your cord on the skirt and then swim out from underneath. Or, once you are under (like Ben is below) you can put your hands on either side of the kayak and swipe them back and forth until you feel the nose of your guides kayak and then grab the front hook and right yourself by using a bit of "hip movement", called the T-rescue. Or you can learn how to do an Eskimo roll or a guitar roll. I only figured out the first 2 methods. The later 2 take a bit of coordination and more time to learn than I had.

Everyone having fun on a calm spot.

And this was the mystery... why did we often times flip on relatively calm water? This is me in the forefront and I think Stan under the water.
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Kayaking, Part II

Here are some more pictures from our kayaking trip this week.

This is a portion of the river, in front of our camp/resort. The water level is way down because we haven't had any rain for over 2 months now and the snow obviously isn't melting up in the mountains at this time. However, this made for some interesting maneuvering in some spots.

Here is Ben putting on his wetsuit in the morning. It took a lot of mental willpower to put them on in the mornings. Once you got them on, it wasn't so bad. He does look a litte stunned though. :-)

And here is our group photo. Tim and Karen Chase are in the back; Karen with the helmet on and Tim next to her. Ben is standing with the paddle next to Tim. Then standing below, left to right, are Stan, me, Nathan, and David.

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Kayaking the Kote Bosi River

Here are some pictures from our latest adventure in Nepal. Two days after Christmas we packed our backpacks and headed 3 hours northeast of Kathmandu...ahhh, clean air again!! This time we decided to try a 4 day kayaking adventure. The days were surprisingly warm but the temps quickly dropped at night. Fortunately, we wore wetsuits and a few other layers so we didn't freeze. I would definitely recommend Equator Expeditions to anyone out there who might be interested in rafting, trekking, mountain climbing, or kayaking here in Nepal.

These are the tents we stayed in. Each of us had a cot and a VERY warm blanket and pillow.

Here we are getting fitted for our kayak and other gear. Karen Chase is taking a coffee break. :-)

And Tim (left) and Stan (right) deciding if the "fit is right".
These four guys; (from L to R) David, Nathan, Tim, and Ben were playing with their kayaking skirts.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overcoming Fear

What are some things that you have a "fear" of? For me, it's losing one of my children, or my husband being in an accident, or snakes (thanks to growing up in Arizona and then living in the jungles of Indonesia). All of these things are very valid fears. These are things that I've seen other people have to live through and I don't ever desire to experience myself. However, some of us also fear other things like heights (still a very valid fear)...and that was our youngest son, David. About 3 years ago, while in Arizona on July 4th, the boys wanted to try some simple wall climbing while waiting for the fireworks display to begin. It was cheap and they had never had the chance to do something like that, so we obliged. Both Ben and Nathan shimmied right on up the wall and then came David. Poor kid, he climbed up to about my shoulder height and began to "freak out"! The poor kid began to shake and cry and then he was unconsolable. A few weeks later, we went to visit some friends of ours who owned some horses. She let the boys ride them; however, when David got up on the horse, he froze. Our friend had to ride with him and even then it was very scary for be up on a horse! And then that same furlough, we went to Nebraska, to Stan's uncle's farm and the guys pulled out the repelling gear (this was something that Stan and I used to do in our younger and more insane years). Stan and Elroy just had to go repelling off the silo again and the boys wanted to be right up there with them. Ben and Nathan, once again, shimmied right on up to the top. They felt like conquerors! David, really, REALLY wanted to be up there too but couldn't do it on his own. So I told him I would climb right behind him and help him. He agreed but it was the longest climb of my life (and his, I'm sure!) He cried and shook the whole entire way up, but he was determined and he did it. And then about a year ago, while in Bali, we took the boys rock climbing again and David was able to make it up half way...
And now, three years later, I'd like to share with you that David has completely overcome his fear of heights AND has probably found his "calling" in life...
We found the most awesome rock climbing and bouldering recreation site here in Kathmandu (shouldn 't surprise me seeing that the world's largest mountain is located here in Nepal). We took the 3 boys and one of their friends to check it out and it was non-stop fun for the boys once we got there. David took one look at all the different options and took a deep breathe and said, "well, I hope I can do this." Not only did he make it up...he did it at least 5 times!! And he was probably the most graceful and most relaxed I've ever seen him. He slipped once when on the big climb but he was able to hold onto the hand-holds, swing himself back to the wall and proceed on up. It was amazing and he LOVED it. Here is the proof...

This looks like it is straight up but it's not! There is quite an overhang.
Can you see the smile on David's face?
This is Ben heading to the top...this picture also shows you a bit of the angle when climbing up. All the boys did an awesome job and we are especially proud of David for not giving up and eventually overcoming his fear of heights.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pictures from Immanuel Crafts

Here is my friend, Karen Chase, at work with 3 of the ladies from Immanuel Crafts. I learned today that there are 17 ladies who work here making all kinds of beaded jewelry.
Here is the room where the ladies are making the jewelry. Not an ideal situation but they do their best and do not complain.
And here is Karen again in the "stock" room/office. I had fun sifting through all the different beads and things here. You can find all kinds of treasures in here.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bazaars and Beads

One of the fun things about being in Nepal during the Christmas season is all the "bazaars" that the various hotels have been hosting. Kathmandu has many expatriates and because of that there are many activities throughout the year that cater to them. There are many organizations here that are helping the hurting and the needy people of Nepal. Many of these needy people are girls and women who have been taken and sold into slavery either by a stranger or by their own family. The organizations help rescue these girls and women and then offer them counseling, education, teach them life skills, and then teach them some kind of a handicraft so that they can make a living for themselves. Many of these ladies (with the help of expats) will then begin a business and hire other hurting women to help make their product(s). They then take these products/handicrafts and sell them at the Christmas Bazaars (and other events) and any money they make goes 100% to helping them survive.

Today I had the opportunity to go to Immanuel Crafts, one of these special businesses. It hires about 10 women who come and make beaded jewelry and special holiday cards. There are several ladies in America and in England who buy their jewelry and then sell them in the States or in Europe and whatever profit they make goes to these women, 100%. I have never really been "into" beads and things of that sort but I found myself totally enjoying being with these women and finding a little creativity within me. I bought a few pieces for my personal outfit and am wondering now how I can help these women out more. My friend, Karen Chase, works with them 4 or 5 days a week for several hours and she absolutely loves it! However, God has blessed her with a creative mind and she comes up with many new creations for these women to learn. Sorry I have no pictures this time, but I promise that the next time I go, I will bring my camera and share the pictures with you.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

The North Face socks

Ok, so some of you may be wondering why I have posted a picture of a pair of North Face socks. I needed some new socks and so I went and bought what I thought were original North Face and after I got home I read the back of the package and realized these are not originals. If you've ever lived in a country where English is not the first language you've probably been humored by the brave attempts of the locals writing English. Here is what was written on the back of this sock packet.

"This product is made by a kind of Hi-Tech, lead the multi-functionalartifical silk of sweat nature high. Combine the socks made with the textile fibre. Have good arranging the sweat, so the characteristic rapidly. Make you feel more soft while wearing, dry and confortable and comfortable.

Thicken dealing with to the toe and heel position, get better protection in the outdoor exercises.

It explains to wash: Don't bleach, warm water is it wash to look through make sure not with apt to fade clothes is it wash to mix."

I kid you not! This is what it really says. :-)
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Little Bumpy Road and an Oak Tree...

Sorry for not updating our blog recently; however, the past 2 weeks have been a littly "bumpy" to be honest. Language class has not been something that I look forward to and just when I think I finally remember something or begin to understand a concept, another is thrown out there in front of me. At the same time, as the Christmas season is right around the corner now, I think I hit a bit of culture shock (we're not in Indonesia anymore!). And then, just as I was realizing that, I was almost run down by a crazy motorcyclist. For some reason, that one small event pulled me deeper into self-pity. No, I wasn't hurt...only my left hand was clipped by the motorcyclist but even that didn't really hurt. It was more of an emotional bump that took its toll.

I opened up a book called "Principles of Spiritual Growth" by Miles J. Stanford and read a chapter titled, "Time". Here are a few excerpts from his book that I'm no stranger to but seem to forget on various occasions.

"It seems that most believers have difficulty in realizing and facing up to the inexorable fact that God does not hurry in His development of our Christian life. He is working for eternity!... God Himself will modify the pace." "John Darby makes it plain that 'it is God's way to set people aside after their first start, that self-confidence may die down. Thus Moses was forty years. On his first start he had to run away. Paul was three years also, after his first testimony... We must get to know ourselves and that we have no strength. Thus we must learn, and then leaning on the Lord we can with more maturity, and more experientially, deal with souls."
This means that there will be much time involved and "unless we see and acquiesce to this, there is bound to be constant frustration, to say nothing of resistance to our Father's development processes for us... When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a squash, He takes six months... In that the Husbandman's method for true spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life, the temptation to shortcut is especially strong unless we see the value of, and submit to, the necessity of the time element. In simple trust we must rest in His hands, 'being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ' (Phil. 1:6)"

As my family "waits" here in Nepal for our licenses and approvals, it can sometimes be overwhelming. As Stan and I struggle with learning this language and wish that there was some easier way, we (mainly me) need to learn to just "submit" to what God is trying to teach us and to what He is molding us into. Ultimately, it is as Miles J. Stanford said, we are dealing with souls and I want to be ready for that be fully prepared when the time comes.

Ok, enough of that. Here are some fun pictures of the kids...

Here is Nathan next to our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. We have a nice (fake) Christmas tree in our crate so we didn't want to spend money on another tree.
This last Friday was the secondary's, in-school "football" tournament. Here is Ben playing as goalie for his team. He did an awesome job! High schoolers played against eachother (they have been divided into 3 "houses" and all year long have competitions against eachother) and the middle school does the same. The boys had a great time and we enjoyed watching them play.

And here is our youngest, David! He is pretending to be sick and on oxygen! :-) This contraption used to be a pair of glo-light plastic glasses that he took apart and made into "this". I was making dinner and turned around to see him pretending to be sick and breathing hard. Gotta hand it to him...It made me laugh and grossed out his brothers all at the same time. Guaranteed, Ben and Nathan will never try to play with his stuff again.
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